1/32 Revell Grumman F-14A Tomcat, VF-1 (part 1 - research & prep work)

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I purchased an old 1/32 Revell Tomcat on Ebay for $15. The Revell kit, although not as detailed as the Tamiya kit, is a great kit for the money considering the Tamiya 1/32 kit is anywhere from $70-$120 and the front fuselage has raised panel lines, where as the Revell kit has recessed panel lines.

The main flaws of the revell kit, especially on the early 1981 version, are the engine nozzels and the cockpit. I plan on using resin ejection seats from Teknics, and a set of nozzels from the Tamiya f-14A kit. I will also replace the kit decals with those from CAM.

For references I'm using the "F-14 Walk Around" book from Squadron/Signal, and various pictures from the internet and other print publications.

One of the first things I did, after assembling the wings and stabilizers, was to replace the navigation lights with clear plastic sprue and acrylic rod. I carefully cut out each navigation light with my Dremel tool and glued in a chunk of the clear plastic with Tenax.

(note: The plastic Revell used to make the model seems impervious to Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. I used Tenax to get a solid bond.)

Navigation lights after shaping and sanding. They still need polishing.
I plan on displaying the A/C with the boarding ladder down. I carefully cut out the open panels and built the inside with evergreen styrene stock.
The Tamiya nozzles are smaller in diameter compared to the Revell nozzels. To remedy this problem the Revell nozzles were sanded down until the diameter matches the Tamiya replacements. The two parts will be attached to make one complete nozzle. Although not exactly correct, I feel the more realistic look of the Tamiya replacements compensates for any inaccuracies.
Now they fit. I will fill & rescribe the Revell parts so the recessed lines match up with the fusalage once they are attached.

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